Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology

Methylmalonate Induces Inflammatory and Apoptotic Potential: A Link to Glial Activation and Neurological Dysfunction.

PMID 28395089


Methylmalonic acid (MMA) accumulates in tissues in methylmalonic acidemia, a heterogeneous group of inherited childhood diseases characterized by neurological dysfunction, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation; it is associated with degeneration of striatal neurons and cerebral cortical atrophy. It is presently unknown, however, whether transient exposure to MMA in the neonatal period is sufficient to trigger inflammatory and apoptotic processes that lead to brain structural damage. Here, newborn mice were given a single intracerebroventricular dose of MMA at 12 hours after birth. Maze testing of 21- and 40-day-old mice showed that MMA-injected animals exhibited deficit in the working memory test but not in the reference test. MMA-injected mice showed increased levels of the reactive oxygen species marker 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate, tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1β, caspases 1, 3, and 8, and increased acetylcholinesterase activity in the cortex, hippocampus and striatum. This was associated with increased astrocyte and microglial immunoreactivity in all brain regions. These findings suggest that transient exposure to MMA may alter the redox state and cause neuroinflammatory/apoptotic processes and glial activation during critical periods of brain development. Similar processes may underlie brain dysfunction and cognitive impairment in patients with methylmalonic acidemia.

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p-Xylene-bis(N-pyridinium bromide), ≥95% (TLC)